Gathering Useful Crime Information

Every piece of information helps build the puzzle …

The war on Crime and Criminals can only be won by having useful information

about their identity and activities. What is useful information and what do

we do with it? Here are some guidelines.

One often hear people say “I gave the police all the information but they

did not act on it, the criminal is still busy with his activities.” The

other side of the picture is that the information was possibly not useful

to the police. The police need to deal with the legal system and is bound

by it and the public don’t always understand the pitfalls in the legal

system.

If you tell the police “There is a guy at number 123 ABC street who is

selling drugs” they cannot go and search that premises and everybody on it

with such vague information. They need to know eg: (1) Who is this guy,

(2)Who saw the drugs, (3) What kind of Drugs, (4) When do people buy, (5)

Where do people buy, (6) How are the deals done, etc … Many Magistrates

these days will not issue a Search Warrant if they do not have a sworn

Statement from somebody that SAW the drugs and SAW the dealing personally.

If the police rush in without a search warrant they are likely to end up on

the front page of the newspapers and as accused in court with the added

bonus that the case against the dealer will fall through due to an illegal

search.

So, what are we to do? When any information about crime comes to your ears

via a source, you need to Ask Questions! The questions to ask are:

Who?
What?
When?
Where?
How?

We need to carefully note the answers that is given to these questions. We

need to convince the source of this information to give a written statement

to a trusted police official. This statement do not have to go into the

investigation docket, but is used to convince the Magistrate to issue a

Search Warrant.

Yes, there are circumstances where the police may search without a warrant,

but this is not always applicable and their case in court will in many

instances be much stronger if they searched with a Warrant.

Let us make sure that we offer the police USEFUL Information. Let us build

a trust relationship with a trustworthy police official in our community so

we have a channel to take our information to. Let us convince our

information sources to give sworn statements to this trusty cop – with the

understanding that these statements will only be used to obtain a Search

Warrant and will not go into the investigation docket – in order to protect

the source.